Bhopal: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday embarked on a roadshow to kick-off the party's campaign in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh after seeking the blessings of more than 11 Hindu priests.

Polls in the BJP-ruled state are scheduled this year-end.

Gandhi was received by state Congress president Kamal Nath and senior party leader and Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, among others, at the airport.

Thousands of Congress workers and supporters holding the party's flags chanted "Rahul Gandhi Zindabad" as he left the airport.

The Congress chief then headed to embark on a 15-km-long roadshow from Lalghati Chowk, located close to the airport, after seeking the blessings of more than 11 Hindu priests, state Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said.

Gandhi's roadshow, in which he will ride an open vehicle, will conclude at the Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd's Dussehra Maidan, where he will interact with party cadres this evening, Chaturvedi said.

"A T-shape ramp has been constructed near the stage from where Gandhi is going to take questions from party workers during his interaction with them," he said.

Besides, he is going to address a meeting of Congress workers, which is open to the public, before leaving in the evening, Chaturvedi added.

"We are upbeat as our leader is in the city to launch the election campaign," he said.

The main opposition party has put up posters and banners in Bhopal describing the 48-year-old Congress chief, who just returned from a pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar, as a 'Shiv bhakt'.

As part of the pilgrimage, devotees undertake an arduous journey to Mount Kailash, which is considered the abode of Lord Shiva in Hindu mythology.

Heavy security has been deployed in areas from where Gandhi is going to pass.

Besides the regular police force, an additional 1,500 policemen are manning the streets of Bhopal.

Thousands of Congressmen from across the state have gathered in the state capital to catch a glimpse of their leader and meet him.

Before this, Kamal Nath had made an open Hindutva pitch where he promised to make gaushalas in every district. This is not the Congress’s first romance with Hindutva. In the recent elections, Rahul Gandhi has been noticed for many a ‘temple run’. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had said Rahul was always a janeu-dhari Brahmin. Much earlier, before Digvijaya Singh lost the Madhya Pradesh election, he had conducted a series of agyas, although there was clearly no divine intervention to help him.